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Who Do You Trust?

by Hacker, Stephen K.

The world has been changing since the beginning, but many people don’t grasp that change is accelerating....


Statistics Roundtable: Solving Jigsaw Puzzles

by DiBenedetto, Alexa; Hoerl, Roger W.; and Snee, Ronald D.

We all face problems in business, as well as in our personal lives and relationships. Despite the need for effective ways to address problems, there is surprisingly little agreement in quality or scientific literature on approaching problems in general....


Innovation Imperative: Team Sports

by Merrill, Peter

The spikes in knowledge that have occurred throughout history all have leaders associated with them. The myth that surrounds these leaders is they all were lone geniuses. In truth, the most famous leaders worked with teams of highly skilled people....


Open Access

Catching Fire

by Liu, Shu

Teams can use the seven creativity strategies and their related tools to develop creativity to solve quality improvement problems....


Innovation Imperative: Changing Tides

by Merrill, Peter

We are currently in a perfect storm for global change. The global marketplace is changing and advances with technology are dramatically changing the way we complete even the simplest tasks. We are responding to change by innovating....


Innovation Imperative: The People Principle

by Merrill, Peter

Successful innovation does have a secret sauce—people. For successful innovation, we need to involve everyone in our organization....


Dig Deeper

by Chadha, Rajeev

Sort,store, shine, standardize and sustain (5S) is a lean process for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe and high-performing workplace....


Reinventing Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

How Corning used quality to maintain its legacy of innovation for 160 years....


Open Access

Feeling Connected

by Port, Jonathan D.

Each of us desires to be heard and understood, affirmed, blessed, safe, touched, chosen and included. Understanding these desires in each person can lead to high-performing work relationships, motivated employees and better quality....


Innovation Imperative: Getting a Jump Start

by Merrill, Peter

In last year’s July issue of QP, I wrote about what a career in innovation might look like. In this column, I want to provide you with some ways to get there....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Who's On Top?

by Carty, Fitz-George A.

Leaders appear to encourage a fear-driven and reactive work culture by instituting limiting and detrimental work systems and policies. Throughout my career, I have witnessed these counterproductive efforts again and again....


Tool Time

by Liu, Shu

“Does everybody know what time it is? It’s ‘Tool Time’!” On “Home Improvement,” one of the most watched TV sitcoms in the U.S. in the 1990s, Tim and his assistant, Al, demonstrated to their television audience what tools they had and how to use them....


Innovation Imperative: Put It on Paper

by Merrill, Peter

Last year, the ASQ Quality Management Division’s Innovation and Value Creation Technical Committee conducted its first evaluation of ASQ readiness for innovation certification....


Standards Outlook: Get in Front of the Problem

by West, John E. "Jack"

Considering the unfortunate fact that product recalls and their disastrous results seem relatively common, it’s curious why so many organizations resist formal efforts to address preventive action....


Healthy Returns

by Kennedy, Denise; Caselli, Richard J.; Berry, Leonard L.

The future of any enterprise depends on the quality of its customer service. All organizations—even those manufacturing products—are service organizations because all create value for customers by performing services....


Innovation Imperative: A Question of Balance

by Merrill, Peter

Many people say that mentioning standards and innovation in the same breath is a contradiction in terms. Evidence from the real world says otherwise....


Open Access

Change Ability

by Hacker, Stephen K.

Building on the creative spirit of each individual joined with others is at the heart of transforming organizations so they don’t just weather forces of change, but also capitalize on the immense energy inherent in the surge....


In the Spotlight

by Keathley, Jane

Based on what we know about the skills needed for innovation management, what quality management functions, responsibilities and skills can be applied to manage innovation?...


Quality for Tomorrow

by Merrill, Peter

The work of the quality profession has evolved over the years from quality control to quality assurance to quality management. But what is the next stage of evolution from quality management?...


Open Access

Up and Away

by Owens, Tracy; Fritz, Caroline

Do you want to quickly test your creativity? Take a sheet of paper and draw a big circle on it. Draw a dot on the paper. This exercise is part of a test given to children entering kindergarten to find out their baseline levels of creativity....


Make the Leap

by Harvey, Jean

Kaizen events, also called kaizen blitzes or workshops, are intensive drives by dedicated teams of workers to fix broken processes or design new ones. They are arguably the best change vehicles in the organizational change fleet....


Open Access

Beyond the Basics

by Duffy, Grace; Laman, Scott A.; Mehta, Pradip; Ramu, Govind; Scriabina, Natalia; Wagoner, Keith

A movie sequel often can be as, if not more, captivating than the original. Essentially, a sequel builds on the original, continuing a journey with familiar characters and settings, developing ideas and unveiling more insight....


Expert Answers: April 2012

by QP Staff

The right way to roll out Six Sigma ... Dealing with troublesome auditees....


A Tangled Web

by Dougherty, Jim; Lengel, Wylene

In simple terms, software as a service is on-demand access to software via the internet. It seemingly eliminates the installation and testing of the software by the customer—or does it?...


Innovation Imperative: Unplugged

by Merrill, Peter

Many people think technology drives innovation. In fact, the opposite is true....


Open Access

The Power of Positive

by Johnston, Frank C.; Beck, Duane P.

In his 2006 book, The World is Flat, Thomas Freidman cites the many challenges globalization puts on corporate life: changing political realities, social entrepreneurship and the effects of the internet....


Open Access

Career Corner: Keep Your Toolbox Full

by ReVelle, Jack B.

Be aware of all the tools at your disposal to excel at your job. Your career as a quality professional depends on your ability to recall a specific quality tool and apply it when necessary....


Online (Taylor)

by James B. Taylor, John W. Sinn and William S. Lightfoot

Insights from developing a quality management and continuous improvement curriculum can be applied in an operations management context to teach quality principles to general management....


Salary Survey 2011: Part 1, Section 11: Salary by Division Size, Organization Size and Location of HQ

by Hansen, Max Christian

Part 1. Regular Employee Results Section 11. Salary by Division Size, Organization Size and Location of Headquarters Bigger Organizations Mean Better Pay Salary by organization size for U. S. respondents / Figure 1 Salary by organization size for Canadia...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Turning 'Who' Into 'How'

by Thomas, Kenneth

When things go wrong, the goal should be to move away from trying to determine “who” was at fault and quickly transition into a problem-solving mindset of “how” to make things better....


Is Six Sigma Dead?

by Weeks, J. Bruce;

There are reports from the field about the death of Six Sigma. The word is that it has been overused, has not brought its expected benefits and that newer methodologies, such as the theory of constraints and systems thinking, are replacing it....


Open Access

Healthy Skepticism

by Grenuk, Julie

It’s important not to underestimate the intense, personal nature of change as each employee in the healthcare industry transitions from the familiar paper-driven world to an entirely electronic one....


Supporting Role

by Stimson, William A.

The ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9000 Series of Quality Management Standards consists of three component standards. Taken together, the standards are components because they form a complete tactical approach to quality management....


Open Access

Back to Basics: An Eye for Design

by Cole, Brandon

Six Sigma often comes under scrutiny because some organization leaders believe it stifles innovation. One fundamental misconception companies using Six Sigma often have is that it only focuses on process improvement....


Ford's Focus

by Levinson, William A.

“Triple bottom line” refers to the measurement of a business’s impact on people, planet and profits. These metrics may seem aggressive, but Henry Ford proved their intelligent interpretation and application makes them synergistic and mutually supporting....


HU Goes There

by Harrington, H. James; Fulbright, Ron; Zusman, Alla

After you've identified the root cause of a problem, what tool do you use to fix it? Enter a problem-correcting tool called the harmful/useful (HU) diagram....


Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: An Eye for Design

by Cole, Brandon

Seis Sigma a menudo viene bajo escrutinio debido a que algunos líderes de la organización creen que ahoga la innovación....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Dancing Around Innovation

by Niles, Kim

Being innovative, or using applied creativity, is difficult when you fail to recognize it as a process and approach innovation opportunities as an artisan....


Open Access

Organize How You Innovate

by Scriabina, Natalia

It is difficult to underestimate the role of innovation in the success of an organization. ISO 9004:2009 redefines the role of improvements and innovations within a quality management system....


Climb to the Top

by QP Staff

Who said it’s lonely at the top? For only the second time since the Baldrige program began in 1988, seven organizations were recognized last year with the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence—the Baldrige Award....


Open Access

Career Corner: The Missing Links

by Lindborg, Henry J.

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence presents an ideal pattern of values to which quality professionals can aspire. Tracking its development throughout close to a quarter century reveals shifts in the quality community’s thinking...


Expert Answers: April 2011

by QP Staff

Size matters when remedying poor quality ... Examining process capability indexes....


Open Access

Happiness Helps

by Becker, Tom

Boredom and discontent in the workplace are serious business performance issues. In a recent international study of organizational effectiveness, two-thirds of the 28,000 respondents said they were less than fully engaged by their work and organization....


Statistics Roundtable: Further Explanation

by Snee, Ronald D., Hoerl, Roger W.

The purpose of a roundtable is to facilitate discussion. Here, we want to facilitate discussion on statistical engineering....


Standards Outlook: Benefit Without a Doubt

by Bucher, Jay

In the typical executive reward system, bonuses are based, in part, on implementing creative solutions to complex problems rather than using standardization. for strategic advantage....


Open Access

Word Power

by Scriabina, Natalia; Smith Fullerton, Romayne; Mehta, Burjor

By using this practical guide, quality auditors, managers, engineers and other professionals in the field will be able to clarify their written messages and inspire their readers to constructive actions....


Dealing With Disconnect

by Conklin, Joseph D., Mazu, Michael J.

"Tips" was retiring. He was smiling, and with good reason. I was not, and with equally good reason. As the company’s senior auditor, his leaving meant things would never quite be the same....


Open Access

Keep It Simple

by Dalal, Adil F.

In his book, My Life and Work, Henry Ford laid out the basics of the lean system. But, if he and others have been able to use elements of lean successfully, why does it seem so many lean and lean Six Sigma initiatives fail?...


Expert Answers: September 2010

by QP Staff

Soft-dollar savings ... crisis management's effect on quality....


Past Is Prologue

by van Kemenade, Everard

Although it’s tempting to look ahead, it’s wise to look back and learn from the past. This axiom holds true for quality management, which is why the history of the discipline is worth closer examination....


Open Access

Career Corner: Playing the Hiring Game

by Conklin, Joseph D.

When organizations conduct job searches and look for new employees to fill open positions, it’s likely hiring personnel feel the job market is in their favor and that there are plenty of job candidates looking for positions. Companies do, however, have...


What's the Big Idea?

by Bhalla, Aditya

In the knowledge economy, agility in rolling out a stream of innovative products and services will be the determination of continued success. But how do you make innovation a way of life that isn't restricted to new product launches?...


Open Access

Get the Whole Picture

by Sherman, Peter

Most Americans have experienced our healthcare system directly. For the last three years, I’ve acted as my father’s primary caregiver. In this role, I’ve seen firsthand the shortcomings of our healthcare system in many ways....


Quality 3.0

by Kukor, Kreg

Two quality leaders weigh in on the current direction of quality management, sustainable quality improvements and their visions of what “Quality 3.0” will bring....


Open Access

Tune Up

by Allen, I. Elaine; Davenport, Thomas H.

Six Sigma has many meanings. In its simplest context, Six Sigma can be defined statistically as the attempt to achieve near-perfection by having no more than 3.4 errors per million opportunities, or being 99.997% correct (or defect-free)....


The Right Mix

by Bhalla, Aditya

Six Sigma offers a framework for process improvement based on objective data. W. Edwards Deming once said, “In God we trust: All others bring data.” For many Six Sigma practitioners, that’s become their undying motto....


Know Thyself

by Warda, Robert P.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to improvement: project-centric improvement and culture-centric improvement. Traditional thought says these approaches have their separate places. But PCI and CCI are inextricably linked....


Open Access

Back in Circulation

by Vincent, Chad

As the applications for lean expand, organizations must realize lean’s usefulness goes beyond environmental efforts. But first, we must look at the history of lean and to understand how its future fully complements social responsibility....


Practice What You Teach

by Pumilio, John; Wettstein, Jason

Many education institutions do not have a foundation conducive to sustainability efforts. For many, change will be cumbersome. Opportunities exist, however, and persistence will be an ally....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: To Launch or Not to Launch

by Schnoll, Les

Having quality professionals on medical device product development teams eliminates last-minute conflicts....


Open Access

Career Corner: Looking Out for No. 1

by Whitacre, Teresa A.

Finding work during a recession is a challenge but not an impossibility. But, whether you are unemployed and seeking work, or currently employed and seeking a better job or career path, it is your responsibility to get results....


Open Access

Building From the Basics

by Rooney, James J.; Kubiak, T.M; Westcott, Russ; Reid, R. Dan; Wagoner, Keith; Pylipow, Peter E.; Plsek, Paul

Quality control is about models, methods, measuring and managing. It’s about uncovering a problem and finding the solution. It’s about using the right techniques at the right time to make things better....


Open Access

What's Up?

by Sanders, Seiche

Study participants outlined the forces, four scenarios in which they might play out, and the implications to quality, organizations and the profession. Study participants were asked to envision the implications of the key forces and scenarios for quality ...


Open Access

Online Sidebars Sanders

by Sanders, Seiche

Increasing movement from quality of product to quality of management and the organization. The systems approaches the quality profession has evolved through ISO 9000 and other management system standards will be valued by organizations looking to bring qu...


Open Access

Futures Study

by QP Staff

Forces of Change From All ASQ Futures Studies Table 1 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 Changing values Partnering Quality must deliver bottom- line results Globalization Globalization Globalization Learning systems Management systems will increasingly absorb the...


Open Access

Geared Toward Innovation

by Bisgaard, Soren

The role of innovation is being vigorously debated among quality professionals and in society at large. It is therefore appropriate that innovation has been elevated to one of the most important strategic issues for the quality profession....


Open Access

Career Corner: A Booming Voice

by Lindborg, Hank

According to the Yankelovich marketing firm, this generation’s essence is defined by "individuality, youth, [and] self absorption. Yankelovich CEO J. Walker Smith and Ann Clurman answer, "Boomers will age, but they won’t get old—meaning they will remain e...


Newer Better Faster

by Stevenson, James R.; Kashef, Ali E.

The Small Business Administration has indicated that the majority of innovations are consistent with the continuous improvement commonly used in the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) Six Sigma method....


Open Access

Keeping Current Online Table

by QP Staff

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award: National Institute of Standards and Technology ( NIST) in partnership with ASQ Award criteria are built on seven core values: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information analysis, human ...


Open Access

A Dose of DMAIC

by Mukherjee, Shirshendu

Ruby hospital, a multispecialty for-profit facility in Calcutta, India, was the first in Eastern India to embrace ISO 9001 and is the only one in the country to have successfully deployed a Six Sigma improvement program....


Mind Your Meetings

by Allen, Joseph A.; Rogelberg, Steven G.; Scott, John C.

Managers and executives spend an inordinate amount of time in the estimated 11 million meetings held in the United States every day....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Rapid Brainstorming Brings a Deluge of Ideas

by Lynch, John

What’s the easiest way to gather a lot of great ideas in a short period of time? That is the challenge the Charlotte Section of ASQ deals with each May when we hold our members’ recognition meeting....


Good Vibrations

by Foo, Luke T.

Modern quality management principles define quality as customer satisfaction with product and service. SCGC has a web page where guitar owners can have questions about their guitars answered by Hoover or Roberts. With employee empowerment accompanying goo...


3.4 Per Million: Forget Silver Bullets and Instant Pudding

by Carnell, Mike

 There are no silver bullets or instant pudding waiting to be discovered. There never has been and never will be. This does not mean that there is not some level of benefit to be gained by an organization embracing Six Sigma, the new and improved...


A Less Costly Billing Process

by Tatikonda, Lakshmi U.

Applying lean Six Sigma techniques can identify root causes, streamline the billing process and reduce errors. After describing the concepts of lean and Six Sigma, this article illustrates how companies can apply lean Six Sigma techniques to identify root...


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Lean Kaizen in the 21st Century

by Alukal, George

Adapted from a chapter of Lean Kaizen, the author offers key takeaways from the Toyota Production System (TPS). He describes how the kaizen method is the foundation of the The Toyota Way and how it emphasizes efficiency, problem solving and...


The Innovation Process and Quality Tools

by Walker, H. Fred; Levesque, Justin

Cost control and product quality are only capable of sustaining competitive advantage. It takes product or service innovation to create competitive advantage in a global marketplace. Innovation consists of a series of steps like any other business or...


QFD's Evolution in Japan and the West

by Jiang, Jui-Chin; Shiu, Ming-Li Shiu; Tu, Mao-Hsiung

Although the theory of quality originated in the United States, early industrial applications predominantly took place in Japan. Yoji Akao conceived quality function deployment (QFD), a concept that is a vital management tool for new product...


Reach for the Stars

by Van Loon, Han

CelsiusTech Australia, a systems and software supplier, has long had a commitment to quality, but believes there is always room for improvement. The company decided to create an improved approach to the plan-do-check-act cycle to help new employees...


Open Access

NFL Teams Huddle Up Around Quality

by Edmund, Mark

Football has evolved to become big business, and with the big money comes the pressure for teams to win. Almost every NFL team today employs coaches and personnel dedicated to controlling the quality of actions on the field. NFL head coach Tom Landry is...


Building Task Cohesion to Bring Teams Together

by Knouse, Stephen B.

Traditional, homogeneous teams made up of members of the same gender, race, and age tend to be more cohesive and more successful and effective in problem solving, but such sameness can produce bland and predictable solutions. On the other hand, a team...


ISO 9001: Could It Be Better?

by Dearing, Jack

Many well-intentioned people are using ISO 9001 to control and improve quality, but much of the standard should be disregarded. ISO 9001's unnecessary costs affect companies, their employees and customers, as well as society in general which depends...


Switching From Improvement to Innovation on the Fly

by Harvey, Jean

Proceeding with an improvement methodology when it becomes obvious the process lacks the potential to achieve the desired capability can be damaging to an organization's continuous improvement initiatives. Goals will not be reached, and the resulting...


Open Access

You Can Go Home Again

by Daniels, Susan

Jamie Houghton's love for Corning brought him out of retirement and back to the company when it was fighting for survival, due to the decline of the telecommunications industry and decreased demand for Corning's fiber optics. When Houghton returned to...


Apply Six Sigma To Sales and Marketing

by Pestorius, Michael S.

A common misconception regarding Six Sigma is that it applies only to manufacturing processes and that its fact-based problem solving methodology doesn't transfer to business processes such as marketing and sales. These people believe that a...


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Keeping Lean Alive

by Alukal, George

We know we cannot stand still in the face of global competition. Our rivals are not standing pat--they are improving their processes and systems to catch up or overtake us. If we do not improve, sooner or later our customers will prefer our rivals....


Open Access

Annual Quality Awards

by Funk, Valerie

The Annual Quality Awards Listing is a guide to automotive, government, international, national, and state quality related awards. The list is organized by type, the award's name and sponsor, criteria, contact information, and notes. To be included in...


One Size Does Not Fit All

by Foster, S. Thomas Jr.

It has been said that academia has lagged behind practice in the development of quality management methods and philosophies, yet academia has done a good job of propagating these concepts. Now academic research has developed two new concepts that will...


Open Access

Make Healthcare Lean

by Manos, Anthony; Sattler, Mark; Alukal, George

The principles of lean manufacturing are as applicable to healthcare as they are to the automobile industry. However, unlike manufacturing, healthcare management structures are not usually hierarchical, and hospitals generally are not-for-profit. Value...


Open Access

A Community College's Long-Term Commitment

by Daniels, Susan E.

Committed leadership is essential to maintaining a focus on continual improvement in any organization. Dallas' Richland College proved this when, under the leadership of long-time president Steven Mittelstet, it became the first community college to...


Open Access

Oklahoma School District Goes Over the Top

by Daniels, Susan E.

In 2005, the Jenks Public Schools in Oklahoma became one of only seven organizations to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for education since the category was instituted in 2001. Its data revealed that JPS was already ranked among the best...


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Building Blocks

by Alukal, George

Is your organization wasting its valuable resources? Waste can directly impact your organization’s costs, quality and delivery, and may lead to excess inventory, unnecessary movement, unintentional waiting time, untapped......


Open Access

Lean Lessons: All About Lean

by Alukal, George

Lately, lean has been receiving a lot of attention from quality professionals, management and the media. After getting its start in manufacturing, it has now migrated to nonshop floor activities in sales, customer service, accounting, HR......


Open Access

Rapid Knowledge Transfer: The Key to Success

by English, Michael J.; Baker, William H. Jr.

Rapid knowledge transfer (RKT) involves the discovery, learning, creation, and reuse of knowledge that becomes intellectual capital that can be converted into value and profits. The concepts of RKT are applicable to quality management because its four...


TRIZ: A Creative Breeze for Quality Professionals

by Dew, John

TRIZ, a systematic approach to creative thinking originating in Russia, can help quality professionals develop new approaches and solutions to quality problems. Its creator, Genrich Altshuller, wanted a systematic approach based on the rules of...


After Six Sigma - What's Next?

by Bisgaard, Soren; De Mast, Jeroen

A systematic scientific approach is fundamental to dealing with problems of variability that cause costly defects and quality problems. This idea has remained the foundation of numerous incarnations of quality management and is the basis of the current...


Good News - If You're Ready

by Phillips-Donaldson, Debbie

Futuring is a structured look ahead aimed at enhancing anticipatory skills. ASQ's most recent futures study, conducted in 2005, identified six key forces of change: globalization, innovation, outsourcing, consumer sophistication, value creation, and...


Open Access

As the World Flattens

by Lindborg, Hank

We are struggling with the uncomfortable results of the world's having been very rapidly "flattened" by technology harnessed to eliminate barriers of space and time. This technology revolution has converged with other forces of change....


Lean Thinking for Knowledge Work

by May, Matthew

Productivity in the service sector trails manufacturing by a wide margin. Since the early 1990s, the Toyota Production System (TPS) has been heralded as the standard for manufacturing environments, but early attempts to apply it to nonproduction work...


Open Access

A Bare Bones Look at the Bottom Line

by Townsend, Pat; Gebhardt, Joan

A basic premise of the quality revolution is that quality increases profits. While customers generate profit in the traditional way, quality focuses on money not spent as the result of improved practices. Quality alone, however, does not guarantee...



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